Listen Up: Expert Feedback Counts Double

  1. Sometimes, you have to rely on an expert.
    • I had some work done on my car. I think I paid too much.
    • My doctor gave me an updated prescription. Was the change necessary?
    • There was a little too much turbulence on my last flight. Couldn’t the pilot have avoided it?

At many points in our lives, we need to trust the experts. For better or for worse, we just don’t know everything —  disappointing, right?

Let’s call it a good thing. Maybe I’m a bit of a know-it-all, but I have no idea how to fix my car, let alone fly a plane.

And yet… we see this issue come up over and over again. We ask for help, then question it.

Trust my expert opinion: This issue comes down to two things – expertise and trust.

Coffee Expert

Identify the expert

Doctors, lawyers, patients, pilots – in some cases, the experts are obvious. And yet, all of us have plenty of expertise to offer. Perhaps you’re the world’s leading expert on how you like your coffee served. It’s likely that you’re the global expert in your own preferred choice of footwear. If only someone would ask –!

Point: Figure out exactly what you need to know, then figure out exactly who has the answer.

    • Want to know what to bring to Thanksgiving dinner? Ask whoever’s hosting.
    • Need to figure out why your customers are leaving? Ask customers who are leaving.
    • Interested in learning how well the new hire mentoring program is working? Ask new hires.

Trust the expert

If you’re asking for an expert opinion and then ignoring it, you’re just wasting everyone’s time.  And yet, it happens all the time. Visit a personal trainer, then opt out from her suggested training plan because it seems too hard. Meet with a financial planner and then ignore his advice. Ask customers what features they’re interested in and then build something else instead.

Point: When the right expert gives you the answer, it’s often a good idea to take it seriously.

    • If your lifelong family doctor suggests you exercise a bit more, listen.
    • If your longterm customers tell you they’re not happy with your new service model, listen.
    • If every single one of your employees rates their job satisfaction as low, listen.

In short

Sure, sometimes it’s good to get a second opinion, but there’s a reason we turn to experts. Listen to their feedback, respect them and the process, and use what you’ve learned. Otherwise, you’ll quickly find that trust works both ways — and you don’t have to be an expert to predict the results.


Get feedback from your customers, employees, and all the right experts.